Author Topic: Pine pitch for waterproofing  (Read 479 times)

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Offline wstanley

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Pine pitch for waterproofing
« on: September 11, 2019, 11:22:23 am »
Hello, I am new here. Been making California style native bows for about 4 years. I'm in the process of tillering a 40'' sinew backed baywood bow with sinew knocks and I want to waterproof it with pitch. Here is what I plan to do (please offer suggestions/corrections):

- I have lots of clear ponderosa pine and bull pine pitch ready to go.
- I plan on applying it slowly with direct heat (flame) and using a heated stone (soapstone) to smooth out the pitch across the back of the bow.
- that's it pretty simple

Any good/bad experiences with pine pitch waterproofing bows please let me know. I'm excited for this little bow, it looks like it will be around 45lbs and 20'' inches of draw. Will post wit pics when done. This is my fourth baywood bow, and I'm quite impressed with the compressive strength this wood can handle.

Thanks,
Wes


Offline wstanley

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 11:25:21 am »
I should add, I use pitch a lot, for making pitch glue (with charcoal and organic material), reinforcing sinew wraps, etc. So I am aware not to actually apply direct heat like I stated, or it will simply burn.

Online Ed Brooks

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 11:44:18 am »
Straight pitch seems like itís too brittle, from what Iíve played with it. I was trying to water proof sinew on arrows. I think you might need to add something like bees wax or maybe fat, to it.  Should reduce the chance of the pitch from cracking when bending. Ed
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Offline simk

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 11:44:58 am »
i therefore powder the pitch and solve it in turpentine. i also ad a bit of linseed oil in which carnauba is solved (hot). the result after mixing all this together is a balm to rub on. cheers

Online willie

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 03:28:08 pm »
I have experimented with spruce pitch but maybe some of what i have learned will carry over to pine


I collect both soft and hard pitch from trees and dissolve in denatured alcohol. the solution gets filtered, then needs to be reduced with heat to make a workable product. some beeswax in the mix seems to help to get the right consistency. I add about one part in five  for a finish and  reduce until the mixture is not tacky.
others have mentioned brittlemess, and i suppose if old or hard pitch is used exclusively, then that might be an issue.

Offline wstanley

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 03:44:58 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions. Gives me a direction to go in now.

Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 04:01:02 pm »
Tried a home made resin finish years ago.  The bow stayed sticky like forever
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Offline bjrogg

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 04:40:21 pm »
I think Pat B makes up turpentine from pine pitch and denatured alcohol something like Willie said. Not sure of the process or product but l'd try that before trying to melt it on sinew with heat.
Bjrogg
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Online willie

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2019, 05:37:24 pm »
Marc

my first attempts turned out like yours- stayed sticky for a long time. I started using PatM's method of dissolving in alcohol and then reducing with heat.

when first "boiling" off the alcohol, you can smell it coming off, and even condense it and reuse it by using a cooler cover that allows you to drain off the condensation.  when the pitch gets thicker and the alcohol is gone, what you are boiling off is the natural turpentine from pitch. how much of these turps you remove, determines the stickiness and brittleness of the final product. you can see the difference in how it boils also.
 I have to be careful at this point not to boil too vigorously or stir the pot much as it can boil over easily. for safety, I use a double boiler over a resistance hotplate. a flame or direct boiling could be dangerous, at least with spruce sap it is

Offline burchett.donald

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2019, 07:27:00 am »
Wes,
               I use crystalized pitch dissolved in denatured alcohol...I have water proofed sinew wraps and sinew bow backings with 100% success...The pitch must be taken in a crystalized state and dissolved...Any of the soft tacky pitch will remain sticky for a long time, so only use the crystalized...I have brushed on and when the alcohol evaporates I am left with a hard slick covering...The alcohol helps the pitch actually penetrate the outer layer of the matrix...I have never experienced any cracking of the pitch varnish, never...I have shot this bow 1000's of times with now cracks...I don't want sticky sinew wraps that will impede penetration or a sticky back on my bow...This really works, try a sample...You can grease or wax over it also...You can see in the second picture the dark colored pitch over the sinew...Let it rain while I hunt...
                                                                                                                                                                  Don
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 07:32:19 am by burchett.donald »
Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

Offline wstanley

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2019, 08:44:47 am »
Marc and Don thanks. And Don thatís a sweet bow! Once I figure how to upload pics on here Iíll add my bow.

When you guys say ďcrystallizedĒ that means your picking the pitch that is brittle already on the tree? Your not crystallizing it yourself?

My next question would be do you guys cover your bowstring with this pitch concoction?

Great advice you all thanks.

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 08:47:57 am »
I wouldn't, i just use string wax.
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

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Offline burchett.donald

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 02:58:30 pm »
  Wes,
           I do not use the pitch shellac on my strings...I have a pitch, grease and bees wax paste that I rub on my rawhide or sinew strings...Also works great on the bow...I add enough grease/lard to the pitch and bees wax to make it soft enough to rub in...Sort of like a paste wax or shoe polish...
           The pitch shellac is made from the hardest crystalized pitch I can find on the tree, no heat or cooking used...
                                                                                                                                                                          Don
                                                       
                                                       
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 03:03:22 pm by burchett.donald »
Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

Offline wstanley

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2019, 10:27:37 am »
Thank again everyone for the suggestions. I think I have an idea of what I want to do. Still figuring out how the pics upload. I keep getting an error message.

Offline backtowood B2W

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Re: Pine pitch for waterproofing
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2019, 01:04:50 pm »
i therefore powder the pitch and solve it in turpentine. i also ad a bit of linseed oil in which carnauba is solved (hot). the result after mixing all this together is a balm to rub on. cheers
Have to say your balm works really great. I keep it for sealing sinew bindings and hopefully for some sinewed bows soon. thanks again simk!